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”The world must know what is happening in the Ciskei”


“Sebe’s men came to our house in the middle of the night. They were looking for my sister. They said she was a spy for SAAWU. I told them I had just come from Grahamstown and I didn’t know where my sister was.

“They told me to get dressed. They said they were taking me to jail ­because I didn’t want to tell the truth .

As I was taking off my nightdress, one of the men came into the bedroom. He assaulted me without reason. When walked out, they hit me from behind. I fell on my face.

Outside the men were beating up my brother. They were making a joke of it. The neighbours were watching. They couldn’t do anything. Then they took us to the Sisa Dukashe Stadium. In one of the changerooms, the beatings carried on. We found many other people there. My brother’s body was blue from the sjambok. They made him lie down on the hard floor.

They let us go at one o’clock the next day – 15 hours after they arrested us.”


Solomon is 64 years old. He is a father of three children.

“I was walking with a group from the railway station. A big truck full of these people stopped in front of us. Everybody started running away but the police caught up with me. Without any questions, they hit me with sticks. About eight policemen were hitting me. One of them asked me why we were travelling by trains and not using the buses. I told him buses were not used.

When the men were finished, Solomon’s legs were broken. He also had four cuts on the head and a broken finger.


“The curfew starts at half past ten at night. But at 9 o’clock, men with sticks, sjamboks and iron rods came into the shebeen. They started hitting us. I didn’t go to the police. They don’t really care. In any case, they’re all friends.”


“I was tortured at the stadium for five days. They handcuffed me. While I was hanging from the ceiling in the change­room, they beat me.”


“I was taken to the stadium. They handcuffed my hands to my feet. They made me swing for two hours from a rod between two tables.”


“Policemen ordered the taxi driver to stop as we entered Mdantsane. They told us to get out.

As we got out they started hitting us with sjamboks and truncheons. They made us squat in the road. They told us to use the buses not taxis. Then they hit us again and again.”


“l was beaten up twice by men dressed in plain clothes and uniforms. They first came to my house on August 6th. They kicked my door down and attacked my wife and I with batons.

“They came again on August 23 and said they didn’t beat me properly the first time. A man and two soldiers kicked me and dumped me in the boot of their car.

“When we arrived at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, I was handcuffed and hung from the ceiling. They beat me for over an hour. When they were finished, I couldn’t walk. They kept me in the dressing rooms for five days. They didn’t let me see a doctor.

(Another man, Mr D, saw Vuyisile at the stadium. He saw Vuyisile lying on his stomach in a toilet. He said. “Vuyisile was bleeding so much that blood flowed out of his shoes”) .


Shepherd said they broke his jaw with an iron rod after they forced him into a bus.

Lulama has a broken leg – she said three policemen hit her with a baton.

Esther needed six stitches on her head after six policemen hit her with batons. They got her when she crossed a road. She was off work for four days.

Sheila said police broke her arm with a rifle when they threw her onto the bus. Two days later, the police caught her and pushed her to a waiting bus. “They hit me again on my injured arm,” she said.


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